There are always plenty of poetry competitions on the web – some free, and some asking for a small payment. It’s a great way to flex your literary muscles, and build up a nice collection of poems on the way. Often the competition will dictate the subject matter, and I enjoy the challenge of producing a poem to order. Recently I entered the Marriott Hotels wedding poetry competition, and the Cats Protection League Writing Competition. Both were free but the Cats Protection League suggested a donation of £5, which I was happy to pay, being a mad cat lady (MCL) myself. I really enjoyed writing both my poems, and although I didn’t get anywhere in the Marriott competition, I was delighted to be a runner up in the Cats Protection League competition with my cat poem Who Killed King Rat. They say write about what you know, and my poem relates the time I went up to my bedroom to find an enormous dead rat curled up on the carpet. The circumstances of its death are still a mystery!
A few days after hearing the results, a huge box arrived at my house. I knew I’d won a dictionary, but have never seen one as huge as this! The problem is I have no shelves large enough to house it, so it’s leaning up against the fireplace, ready to be delved into when needed. And I’m looking forward to seeing my poem in the autumn edition of The Cat magazine.
If you fancy trying your luck with entering a few poetry competitions, you might like to look at these links to get you started.
Alight Here is a site publishing poems (and photos) inspired by London’s underground stations. So not a competition, but an interesting, well put together site with a possible anthology to follow.
A similar site to Alight Here, publishing – you guessed it – a poem a day. No payment or fees but exposure of your poem – prepare to be rated by your peers!
The MAG poetry prize at Poetic Republic is a knock-out poetry competition. As part of your entry you also judge other poems. Take part for the fun of it and the chance to enjoy others’ work.
This fundraising group raise money for the Iain Rennie hospice through writing competitions. This year’s poems (or prose) should be on the theme of ‘Time’ and the best entries will be published in a desk diary. The prize is £110 and it’s for a great cause. The deadline is the end of June 2011.
Another competition for a good cause – to raise money for people with Lupus. Entries should be less than 40 lines and cost £4. The closing date is 31 May 2011.
And if you’re feeling really brave you can try…
Agenda is a highly respected poetry journal. Their competition, closing on 31 May 2011, offers a prize of £1000 and costs £4 to enter. Expect some tough competition.
And finally, the big one…
This prestigious competition is judged by Carol Ann Duffy, so best work only! It costs £6 to enter and the winners are published in an anthology. The first prize is £5000. Aim high – who knows what could happen?
For more details of writing competitions, visit the excellent (and witty) Prize Magic site.